Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 23:10 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces You probably missed this earth-shattering news, but Ikea IKEA, the Swedish furniture and other assorted home decoration products company, has switched fonts. The company always used the Futura font for its catalogues, but the latest edition has ditched it in favour of Verdana. This has caused quite the stir among typography geeks.
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Comment by typography geek
by merkoth on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 23:22 UTC
merkoth
Member since:
2006-09-22

Consolas is a beautiful font, specially on LCD displays. Since it has some complicated licensing terms, I decided to use Inconsolata[1] for my monospaced needs. A truly beautiful font. In general terms, Vista came with a very impressive set of fonts.

For the rest of the OS, I usually have some BitStream variety and some of the fonts used by Android are great. Droid Mono is also a very good programmer friendly font.

Oh, about TFA, I completely agree with the Verdana detractors. It's a very good font for screens, but looks very dull when printed, specially at big sizes. Futura might look weird on screen, but looks gorgeous printed.

[1] http://www.levien.com/type/myfonts/inconsolata.html

Edited 2009-09-03 23:25 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by typography geek
by google_ninja on Fri 4th Sep 2009 00:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by typography geek"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I like consolas in a general way, I do think that lucida sans has more character though.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by typography geek
by Tuxie on Fri 4th Sep 2009 09:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by typography geek"
Tuxie Member since:
2009-04-22

I like Inconsolata also, it's my favourite monospace font in OSX. However, the best monospace font by far is (IMHO) Terminus Bold. Unfortunately only the bitmap version is good, but I use it all the time for my terminals and text editors in Linux. I wish there was a way to use bitmap fonts in OSX. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Not a font snob
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 23:41 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Couldn't probably pick fonts out by name in a line up. But, I like what I like. I like futura on the screen as well as printed out. I also remember liking cooper bold.

I made my own font once from my handwriting. It was pretty cool to be able to type as illegibly as I write with a pen. Sadly, I think I may have lost that in the hard drive failure. Surely, the world is worse off for it's loss.

Reply Score: 3

personal preferences...
by FishB8 on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 23:49 UTC
FishB8
Member since:
2006-01-16

for screen: DejaVu Sans
for print: Gyre Termes

and I hate verdana.

Reply Score: 1

RE: personal preferences...
by Moredhas on Sat 5th Sep 2009 05:56 UTC in reply to "personal preferences..."
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

On screen, I agree, Deja vu sans is great. I bold it for my window titles. In print, the font I prefer depends on what I want to type. For palm cards for speeches, I like in a monospace font like Courier New or Liberation Mono. Each word takes up a lot of space, and each letter is clear for quick reading at a glance. That's just a personal preference though, others swear that Arial is better because individual words have more distinct shapes. For internal documents at work, I like Liberation Sans and Liberation Serif. Whichever is used, I like consistency throughout the document.

Reply Score: 2

RE: personal preferences...
by Peter Besenbruch on Sun 6th Sep 2009 03:37 UTC in reply to "personal preferences..."
Peter Besenbruch Member since:
2006-03-13

for screen: DejaVu Sans
for print: Gyre Termes


I second the DejaVu family for on screen. For printing, I'm a fan of the Free family, especially Free Serif. It's a bit more graceful (and taller) than Times New Roman. Then again, I'm a stick in the mud; I actually like Times New Roman for printing.

Edited 2009-09-06 03:38 UTC

Reply Score: 1

...
by Hiev on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 23:50 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

At this days, we have wars for oil, hungry people, injustices and all kind of Social Disease, but, change the font of a catalog is superior and worth to complaine.

Oh God.

Reply Score: 4

RE: ...
by righard on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 23:53 UTC in reply to "..."
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

As dreadful as it is, there are always bigger priorities in the world, but that mustn't stop us from trying to improve the finer details of living.
(by the way, you're complaining that some people are complaining that … ;) )

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: ...
by Hiev on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 23:55 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
RE[3]: ...
by izomiac on Fri 4th Sep 2009 00:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
izomiac Member since:
2006-07-26

Don't waste your time caring about what others care about, you've got much bigger fish to fry! Hurry, the worlds problems need more people to worry about them, and them exclusively!

Personally, I don't care about the best time of knitting needle, although I'm sure some people do. They, in turn, probably couldn't care less about the optimal way to partition a desktop. People care about different, mostly pointless things, which is kinda the point of individuality. We pretty much all care about the major stuff.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: ...
by phreck on Fri 4th Sep 2009 09:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
phreck Member since:
2009-08-13

"Don't waste your time caring about what others care about, you've got much bigger fish to fry!"

How is caring about how others care about what others are caring about any better?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: ...
by B12 Simon on Fri 4th Sep 2009 10:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

If a trivial complaint about typography degrades mankind, then how degraded are we from your trivial complaint about a trivial complaint.

Stop degrading mankind, man!

Reply Score: 4

Comment by righard
by righard on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 23:50 UTC
righard
Member since:
2007-12-26

For normal text, I prefer the version of Sans that comes standard with Gnome. I find it looking very clean, and it suits the Clearlooks and Shiki themes very well.
Sometimes (if the stars are aligned in a specific way) I prefer the Liberation version of the aforementioned. For a monospace font I use Apple's Monaco (don't know if that's legal, don't care). I find programming software much more joyful due to that font.

Reply Score: 2

Work there
by topcat on Thu 3rd Sep 2009 23:55 UTC
topcat
Member since:
2009-09-03

Ha ha, I've worked at IKEA for 5 years and I hadn't even realized the change...

Anyway, from the article:

"They went cheap, in other words," counters Bucharest designer Iancu Barbarasa, who blogged about the font change on his website.


I think it is quite astonishing that people are surprised by this. 'Going cheap' is what IKEA is all about. This is a do-it-yourself store where you build the furniture and even pick up the furniture boxes yourself--some of which are over 100 pounds.

I'm not too knowledgeable of the world of typography but the article does state that they were using a modified version of Futura before. You would have thought that they would have some sort of permanent license or something like that after the many years that the font was being used. I'm surprised the investment wasn't already paid off...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Work there
by rajan r on Fri 4th Sep 2009 00:41 UTC in reply to "Work there"
rajan r Member since:
2005-07-27

IKEA's brand message is about affordable design. If cheap is the vogue, why not send out a few photocopied flyers printed on dyed A4 paper with all the products squeezed in, instead of sending out a catalogue.

It may not look pretty, but hey, IKEA is about cheap.

Reply Score: 2

....
by SaschaW on Fri 4th Sep 2009 00:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Work there"
SaschaW Member since:
2007-07-19

Now I have seen everything! :-)

This is hilarious!

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Work there
by topcat on Fri 4th Sep 2009 00:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Work there"
topcat Member since:
2009-09-03

IKEA is also about utility, something that they achieve with Verdana.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Work there
by Soulbender on Fri 4th Sep 2009 05:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Work there"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

If cheap is the vogue, why not send out a few photocopied flyers printed on dyed A4 paper with all the products squeezed in, instead of sending out a catalogue.


Because the customers would notice that while the only ones that will notice, and care about, a change in font is a very small group of typography geeks.
The only ones who would then go on being "outraged" about this in blog posts is the same kind of people who write angry letters to the editor expressing their outrage over some typo in an article or just to let everyone know that they are very, very upset with how their neighbours are noisy late at night.

Edited 2009-09-04 05:42 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Work there
by KrimZon on Mon 7th Sep 2009 10:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Work there"
KrimZon Member since:
2009-06-24

My dead neighbours aren't noisy at all. I mean I don't know they're dead, why would I? They just seem dead because they're so quiet now. But I haven't been round there in the past week to know that they are dead.

Reply Score: 1

Knuth got it right
by jwwf on Fri 4th Sep 2009 00:10 UTC
jwwf
Member since:
2006-01-19

On the page, I like Computer Modern. I like the TeX aesthetic generally.

On screen I just want something simple, like the default ubuntu sans plus a decent monospaced font for code.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Knuth got it right
by jack_perry on Fri 4th Sep 2009 02:16 UTC in reply to "Knuth got it right"
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh no, I can't stand that font, and I've looked at far too many papers and books printed in it. Too spare and thin.

I much prefer something like SIL Gentium, URW Garamond, or even BitStream Charter. The latter two even work just fine in LaTeX with the MathDesign package.

http://www.sil.org/~gaultney/Gentium/
http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/fonts/mathdesign/

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Knuth got it right
by jwwf on Fri 4th Sep 2009 14:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Knuth got it right"
jwwf Member since:
2006-01-19

Oh no, I can't stand that font, and I've looked at far too many papers and books printed in it. Too spare and thin.


Believe it or not I can see your point of view. I think I like it in part because it reminds me of things I've read and liked. Just like Futura for the Ikea fans, it has a connotation for me. Some of the strokes are really thin, but I find it harmonises in reading, as opposed to looking hard at every letter.

I do like the look of the Gentium and Charter samples--will have to give them a shot in print.

Reply Score: 2

Fonts
by google_ninja on Fri 4th Sep 2009 00:15 UTC
google_ninja
Member since:
2006-02-05

Print: DTL Prokyon. Absolutely gorgeous font with a lot of style and character, also will set you back 1600$ for the full family.

Coding: Practically, I am a big fan of consolas, it is sort of the monospace font that looks like a normal sans font. Monaco is just classier though, and I have a soft spot in my heart for lucida sans.

On Screen: Verdana is an absolutely fabulous font, but IMO Calibri beats it.

Edited 2009-09-04 00:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Fonts
by sbergman27 on Fri 4th Sep 2009 00:33 UTC in reply to "Fonts"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

On Screen: Verdana is an absolutely fabulous font, but IMO Calibri beats it.

We used to have green screens (sometimes orange) and were happy that the letters were readable. Didn't think about it very much, really. Then came "paper white".

Then came Windows 3.1... and my customers' employees started complaining about "not liking that font" and I had to change them for them. Now fonts are a business sector, and a topic all unto themselves.

I assert (in no particular order) that if we'd never left green screens, productivity would be higher, the world GDP would be greater, we wouldn't be in this recession, and I would likely be happier. :-)

Edited 2009-09-04 00:39 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Fonts
by google_ninja on Fri 4th Sep 2009 02:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Fonts"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Fonts have been a business sector long before computers became the primary tool for designers. In fact, many people consider the shift to computers to be the downfall of typography, because of how simple it is to bang out a font, most foundries nowadays are just sweatshops going for quantity rather then quality.

Win 3.1 shipped with arial (it is now the de-facto sans font) which was actually just a re branded sonoran sans, which was one of the second generation IBM fonts. Your story probably has more to do with familiarity with the font rendering engine on windows more then the actual type.

The weird thing about typography is that the people who are into it are REALLY into it, and the rest of the world just thinks we are a bunch of lunatics for caring so much about how letters are shaped.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Fonts
by sbergman27 on Fri 4th Sep 2009 02:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Fonts"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

and the rest of the world just thinks we are a bunch of lunatics for caring so much about how letters are shaped.

You can pretty well count me to be in that group... except when the letters are shaped so badly that I just can't believe that the designer was not drunk, or stoned, or perhaps even Michael Jackson.

Why are fonts so hard? Why can't they just... you know... look right?

I hear all these scary sounding terms, like "kerning" and "hinting". I hear about how "hard" font design is. And I wonder why we can't just solve this problem and move on.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Fonts
by mintar on Fri 4th Sep 2009 10:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Fonts"
mintar Member since:
2008-09-26

Why are fonts so hard? Why can't they just... you know... look right?

I hear all these scary sounding terms, like "kerning" and "hinting". I hear about how "hard" font design is. And I wonder why we can't just solve this problem and move on.


Why do car makers keep changing the design of their cars? Why can't they just solve this problem and move on?

I think fonts and cars are about aesthetics as well as usability, and so there is no "problem" that has a unique "solution".

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Fonts
by LighthouseJ on Fri 4th Sep 2009 14:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Fonts"
LighthouseJ Member since:
2009-06-18

The problem with that argument is that car companies are competing with each other constantly, so they are constantly trying to out-do each other.

Are font families or authorized resellers doing any sort of competition? If they are, it's not anywhere near the scale of the car industry. (Have you heard of the "font industry"?)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Fonts
by google_ninja on Fri 4th Sep 2009 12:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Fonts"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

It is sort of like "Why do people keep doing paintings? Why can't they just paint something properly, and have everyone hang that on their walls?". At this point, the problem is solved "enough" where there are loads of fonts that are great for pretty much any situation. What is left is a matter of taste and expression.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Fonts
by sbergman27 on Fri 4th Sep 2009 18:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Fonts"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I guess it depends upon whether one considers fonts to be functional and utilitarian or works of art. Except for special purpose fonts like Zapf Chancery, I tend to think of them as purely functional. Give me one good sans font, and a good and simple mono font, and I'm happy. When I check out the fonts in, say, Firefox, I'm always amazed that out of a zillion fonts, a zillion minus one seem completely unusable, leaving exactly one that's pretty good.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Fonts
by CrLf on Fri 4th Sep 2009 11:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Fonts"
CrLf Member since:
2006-01-03

I assert (in no particular order) that if we'd never left green screens, productivity would be higher, the world GDP would be greater, we wouldn't be in this recession, and I would likely be happier. :-)


You might be exaggerating, but I often think that text-based terminals provided for better applications in the (boring) business environment. This can be attributed to nostalgia, but since I didn't live in those days (I may have used DOS, and I may be a unix sysadmin now, but I never worked in the mainframe+terminal days), I guess this is hardly the case.

But lets see why:

1. Programmers (especially in the business environment) tend to suck at designing user interfaces (may they be fat or web clients) and waste too much time on it when they could be improving the logic;

2. A more limited UI (limited for the users and limited for the programmers) would force a focus on the automation instead of overloading the user (and this happens on graphical UIs both because of the programmers _and_ the users - which keep asking for more and more "knobs" until the final product eats more user brain cycles than the work it was supposed to simplify);

3. UIs would be more consistent and more easier to grasp for users (which seem to be less confused by text fields than innumerable graphical widgets and navigation styles). Additionally, business apps mostly have awful interfaces and are utterly confusing and inconsistent at best. See 1. and 2.

Of course, I'm talking about business apps here, where functionality is the important part. In the consumer space, this would be completely unfeasible (and stupid).

Reply Score: 2

Comment by smashIt
by smashIt on Fri 4th Sep 2009 00:27 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06

i'm fine with everything as long as it's without serifes

Reply Score: 3

Get real, it's a font!
by reflect on Fri 4th Sep 2009 00:39 UTC
reflect
Member since:
2007-07-10

wow, I'm amazed at the people out there who's "outraged". To them I say, it's just a font, it could look better, it may perhaps not, but it's just a font!"

In the grand scheme of things, who the heck gives a crap? Get back to me when there's something IMPORTANT on the line.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Get real, it's a font!
by shadow303 on Fri 4th Sep 2009 15:49 UTC in reply to "Get real, it's a font!"
shadow303 Member since:
2005-06-29

I thought the same thing until I saw that the new font is a Microsoft font. It's funny how quickly I went from "Who cares?" to "What were they thinking using Microsoft crap?". I guess it's all a matter of priorities.

Reply Score: 1

v Get a life...
by gmlongo on Fri 4th Sep 2009 00:57 UTC
Overblown Issue
by galvanash on Fri 4th Sep 2009 00:58 UTC
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

Honestly, I think Verdana is a horrible font for print and much prefer Futura. But the only reason for me to say that is that I actually do a (small) bit of design and layout work, so I happen to care.

Ikea's target market is not artists and designers. Sure, they may be popular with that crowd - but frankly that crowd is very small. Ikea is a mass market product company - and the mass market quite honestly wont even notice something like this.

The art aspect of catalogs is rarely a key component of their effectiveness - artists don't like to hear this but it is true. Its all about concept, execution, and branding the company - the font you choose to print your ads in is of little or no consequence in the grand scheme of things. Catalogs pretty much boil down to product imagery, pricing, and effective layout and placement... and well thats it really. Maybe the cover, but on the inside who really notices or cares?

Point is if switching to verdana saves them some money it was probably a wise move.

Reply Score: 2

I'm not so sure it saves them money
by rajan r on Fri 4th Sep 2009 01:16 UTC
rajan r
Member since:
2005-07-27

1) Their Futura (IKEA Sans) is a custom font, its very likely they have it royalty free.

2) If not, transiting to generic Futura, widely available royalty-free, is a lot more seemless than to Verdana.

3) As for internationalization, there is no reason why IKEA couldn't use a generic font (for example, SimSun in Chinese) if Futura or IKEA Sans doesn't support those scripts, while retaining IKEA Sans/Futura for scripts it supports.

4) As for print+screen synergy, I really, really don't see why they will save resources by using the same font on catalogues, billboards and their website.

5) It's the message this move sends: IKEA is, or at least, was all about affordable design. Typography is an important part of design. If they're sacrificing design in their marketing material to save, at most, a couple thousand dollars, sooner or later, we may see IKEA sacrificing design in its products to save pennies. In any case, the font, and catalogues and ads, is part and parcel of its brand. Making them uglier is hardly helpful.

Reply Score: 3

topcat Member since:
2009-09-03

IKEA does sacrifice design in order to save money. Flat packing furniture limits design (and even alters it) in order to save money on transportation.

I do agree with you that it seems odd that they don't already 'own' the font that they were using previously. Also, they've had stores all across the world for awhile now and I assume they've all been using the same Futura in all those locations.

Reply Score: 1

rajan r Member since:
2005-07-27

Flat-packing allows them to shave off quite a lot from the price tag from savings in shipping and assembly.

Unless IKEA was paying through their nose in royalties for IKEA Sans, I don't see how they're saving any money by changing fonts.

Reply Score: 1

v Get a life!!
by cmost on Fri 4th Sep 2009 02:10 UTC
lol
by Anon9 on Fri 4th Sep 2009 03:38 UTC
Anon9
Member since:
2008-06-30

That quote about someone shuddering at the thought of using a particular font is very funny. I guess I just don't relate. My preferred font is Courier New 14pt bold. Great for programming and big enough to read easily with my glasses off.

Reply Score: 2

bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

It's their business, but it's hard to imagine that Verdana is going to work in print.

There was a big deal when Apple stopped using their Garamond but really, it's just another moment in another day.

If you can read it clearly, it's working for you.

Reply Score: 3

Frutiger Next
by zaine_ridling on Fri 4th Sep 2009 05:35 UTC
zaine_ridling
Member since:
2007-05-13

I prefer Frutiger Next for both screen and fonts on my Linux systems. Although DejaVu Sans is very readable for me.

Reply Score: 1

More Importantly
by tchristney on Fri 4th Sep 2009 05:49 UTC
tchristney
Member since:
2005-09-21

I predict this change will have no effect on IKEA sales or the ability of consumers to read their catalogue.

Reply Score: 3

TommyCarlier
Member since:
2006-08-02

For regular on-screen reading, I prefer Calibri for document text (preferably in a slightly larger font size) and Segoe UI for UI-fonts (beautiful at small size). On Windows XP (which uses a different ClearType), I prefer Tahoma.
For coding (mono-spaced font), I currently use Envy Code R. Nice at both small and large size.

Reply Score: 1

Hilarious
by Soulbender on Fri 4th Sep 2009 06:01 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

Talk about storm in a teacup. A lot of "experts" talking about things no one really gives a shit about. How about asking the common man if they even noticed or cared?
Now, I can see that there's a difference but unless someone had actualyl pointed this out to me I most likely wouldn't have cared. No one is gong to go "Hey Honey, look what IKEA did! They changed the font! We better not buy any BILLY this year". Seriously, that's not how it works.

but also credibility and the reputation that the company has built since the 1940s."


Why don't you go out and ask a regular Svensson about that eh? You know, someone who isn't a typography geek and who actually shop at IKEA. People shop at IKEA because it's affordable and stylish (for the price), not because they use(d) the Futura font.

"But if a company like Ikea can make this mistake, you have to wonder who is going to lead when it comes to design."


What mistake? Is the font unreadable? Is it horribly ugly and will make your eyes bleed? (hint: no)
This may come as a surprise to mr Ursache but it's not the same people who make the catalogue and design the products.

As of Aug. 27, Ursache's petition had garnered over 700 signatures.


Oh boy, out of all the millions of people who shop at IKEA 700 cared. Comparing this to New Coke is also silly. New Coke actually changed the product while all IKEA has done is change the font in their catalogue and not changed their actual products at all.

Edited 2009-09-04 06:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hilarious
by Buck on Fri 4th Sep 2009 06:16 UTC in reply to "Hilarious"
Buck Member since:
2005-06-29

Talk about storm in a teacup. A lot of "experts" talking about things no one really gives a shit about. How about asking the common man if they even noticed or cared?

Serously, where does THAT kind of attitude come from? Of course the "common man" cares about nothing! That doesn't mean we should be living among piles of dogshit. You can take a look at the Soviets as an example. If you'd rather live in a world of grey concrete and similar black coats then shame on you.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Hilarious
by Soulbender on Fri 4th Sep 2009 06:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Hilarious"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Serously, where does THAT kind of attitude come from?


What attitude? That it's nonsense to be outraged by an unimportant change to a *catalogue*?

Of course the "common man" cares about nothing! That doesn't mean we should be living among piles of dogshit.


Where does THAT elitist attitude come from?

You can take a look at the Soviets as an example.


If you think grey concrete ghettos only exist in the Soviet Union you should probably get out more. It's also beside the point. We're talking about a hardly noticeable change that in no way affect the products the company is selling. It's not like they all of a sudden decided that all their furniture is going to be available in only one colour and that colour is grey. It's not an important change to the majority of their customers.

It's a storm in a teacup whipped up by people with nothing better to do.
There's a difference between "I dont like the new IKEA font" and "OH MY GOD! The sky is falling! We must petition IKEA to change the font!".

Reply Score: 3

Madness
by OSNevvs on Fri 4th Sep 2009 08:20 UTC
OSNevvs
Member since:
2009-08-20

This has caused quite the stir among typography geeks


These guys need to see a doctor. Seriously.
I'm not a font geek, but I hardly see any difference between the two fonts. I never look carefully at fonts themselves.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Madness
by rajan r on Fri 4th Sep 2009 09:41 UTC in reply to "Madness"
rajan r Member since:
2005-07-27

Its understandable if people don't notice the change until pointed out, but if you can tell the difference between Futura and Verdana side by side, maybe its you who needs a doctor.

Reply Score: 1

Pot, meet kettle
by rajan r on Fri 4th Sep 2009 09:45 UTC
rajan r
Member since:
2005-07-27

Its funny most of the comments here are in bewilderment that people actually care about this.

Though its not as if the regulars of OSNews are that much better. Even if the rest of the world doesn't care about a certain topic, it will be debated to death here.

So you don't care. Move along then.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Pot, meet kettle
by TommyCarlier on Fri 4th Sep 2009 09:54 UTC in reply to "Pot, meet kettle"
TommyCarlier Member since:
2006-08-02

Maybe Thom should change the font of OSNews to Comic Sans. Let's see if they'll care about fonts then. :-P

Edited 2009-09-04 09:55 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: Pot, meet kettle
by Soulbender on Fri 4th Sep 2009 11:16 UTC in reply to "Pot, meet kettle"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

There's a difference between caring and blowing a minor matter out of proportions.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Pot, meet kettle
by rajan r on Fri 4th Sep 2009 12:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Pot, meet kettle"
rajan r Member since:
2005-07-27

I posit the various Vi vs Emacs, KDE vs GNOME, etc. debates that have raged geekosphere.

A bunch of angry tweets, blog posts, a slightly-free guy making a petition on PetitionOnline.com and 5,000+ people signing it, all may seem overblown. But when considered as individual actions (30 seconds to make an angry tweet, a couple of seconds to retweet, 10 mins to write something on a blog, a couple of seconds to sign a petition), it isn't overblown on an individual level.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Pot, meet kettle
by Soulbender on Fri 4th Sep 2009 14:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Pot, meet kettle"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I posit the various Vi vs Emacs, KDE vs GNOME, etc. debates that have raged geekosphere.


The overheated posts on those debates are equally stupid.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Pot, meet kettle
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 4th Sep 2009 14:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Pot, meet kettle"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

"I posit the various Vi vs Emacs, KDE vs GNOME, etc. debates that have raged geekosphere.


The overheated posts on those debates are equally stupid.
"
Then why partake in them?

Let me quote Yahtzee:

People are shit. Whenever I'm in a crowd I think to myself 'who left this shit all over the place'? I'm shit, you're shit, the world is shit, and if you're sitting there thinking "Yes it's true! Everyone is shit except me!", then you're a double-bacon shit with large fries, mr Shitface.


http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/779-Th...

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Pot, meet kettle
by Soulbender on Mon 7th Sep 2009 11:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Pot, meet kettle"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

You may have noticed that i said "overheated posts", not the discussions themselves.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Pot, meet kettle
by r_a_trip on Fri 4th Sep 2009 13:10 UTC in reply to "Pot, meet kettle"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Its funny most of the comments here are in bewilderment that people actually care about this.

I think the bewilderment is more a consequence of the extent of the near hysterics that the pro-Futura individuals portray over the simple change of one readable font for another one.

The shrill hinting that IKEA's management might have put Ikea in danger, has abandoned their commitment to design, even that humanity has suffered from it... Well, it might be a major disaster in the small font afficionado circle, but the rest of the universe deems this business as usual.

The catalogue is still the same functional listing. There is no loss of information. Just the font changed. It might not be the most sexy font in existance, but it does what it needs to do. It delivers information, the real gold nugget in writing. If it can do so cheaper than Ikea's custom font could, even better.


Can you gather from this response how utterly alien this outrage is for people who see typeface as a means to deliver information, instead of it being a statement itself?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Pot, meet kettle
by rajan r on Fri 4th Sep 2009 13:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Pot, meet kettle"
rajan r Member since:
2005-07-27

Honestly? IKEA's catalogue, with its catchy copywrites, professional photos--many of it not of individual products but sets of it to show its products in living spaces, is merely a functional catalogue?

IKEA's catalogue is more than an consumer informational tool (you could easily condense all the actual information into a few pages otherwise). It is a marketing tool. A form of advertising. Design matters in those - including fonts.

Readability isn't the only goal of fonts--and shouldn't be. Much in the same way penmanship shows personality, fonts is part of a brand identity. It isn't so much that fontsnobs love Futura so much and hate Verdana, its that IKEA replaced a good font suitable for large sizes and print with a font meant for small sizes on a computer screen.

And their reasons are crap (using multiple fonts, for online and print, and for different scripts, isn't exactly terribly inefficient or more expensive). They devalued their brand image--maybe slightly, but definitely.

Reply Score: 3

It's the WalMart font!
by Morgan on Fri 4th Sep 2009 10:36 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

The very first image that leapt into my head when I saw the new layout was the WalMart advertisement I just got in the mail. Apart from the quirky furniture names, it's nearly indistinguishable from a WalMart flyer.

Reply Score: 2

It's a Stupid Decision
by segedunum on Fri 4th Sep 2009 11:22 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

Verdana was a font designed for the web and designed to be safe and boring for small print. What it wasn't designed for was to be distinctive and legible at larger sizes on a range of media. Look at that new sign they're putting up in that article - the letters look fat and ridiculous. This decision was made by some management consultant rather than anyone with some design nous at Ikea and it must have cost them a bomb to change without any appreciable benefit.

Edited 2009-09-04 11:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's a Stupid Decision
by Soulbender on Fri 4th Sep 2009 16:56 UTC in reply to "It's a Stupid Decision"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Look at that new sign they're putting up in that article - the letters look fat and ridiculous.


Uhm, they're not setting up a new sign. That's the way the logo has always looked....
What they have changed is not the logo font but the font used in the text in the catalogue.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It's a Stupid Decision
by segedunum on Fri 4th Sep 2009 23:54 UTC in reply to "RE: It's a Stupid Decision"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

What they have changed is not the logo font but the font used in the text in the catalogue.

No, they're changing their global font, the store signs, price tags, the whole shebang. The picture in the article is misleading and I've seen a picture of the new signage that I can' find now, but this is what they're replacing it with:

http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/verdanagate.php

It looks and sounds pretty ridiculous, especially when you understand that IKEA the retail company has to pay another IKEA company for the use of the Futura font and this is all about saving money. I suppose they don't have a choice.

Edited 2009-09-05 00:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Oh to reminisce
by Drunkula on Fri 4th Sep 2009 12:46 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

I miss my old amber monochrome monitor!

Reply Score: 2

Where it all started
by avih on Fri 4th Sep 2009 13:13 UTC
avih
Member since:
2006-03-16

For a retrospective of a revolutionary font that started the sans-serifs invasion into the mainstream, the documentary "Helvetica" ( http://www.helveticafilm.com/ and by "other" means) offers a unique view of the history and roots of this font (and related others), towards its' 50 years anniversary (few years ago).

Highly recommended for font lovers.

As for my personal preference, I use Verdana all over the place (web browser, forced font) which is just plain enjoyment for on-screen read IMO. If I want to read in serif, Georgia does a great job, especially with numeric characters..

Microsoft does deserve credit for producing such magnificent and readable fonts. Well done.

Edited 2009-09-04 13:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Simple fonts...
by the old rang on Fri 4th Sep 2009 23:39 UTC
the old rang
Member since:
2009-09-04

I prefer 'droids' or 'Georgia'

Reply Score: 1

What they failed to mention
by blitze on Sat 5th Sep 2009 10:13 UTC
blitze
Member since:
2006-09-15

Is that they are also forcing their Graphic Designers to use MS Publisher 2007 for all their artwork. Now there's something to complain about. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: What they failed to mention
by abraxas on Sun 6th Sep 2009 00:48 UTC in reply to "What they failed to mention"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

Is that they are also forcing their Graphic Designers to use MS Publisher 2007 for all their artwork. Now there's something to complain about. ;)


Now that would be news. Publisher doesn't even support color separation.

Reply Score: 2

Storm, meet Teacup
by Nicholas Blachford on Sun 6th Sep 2009 00:40 UTC
Nicholas Blachford
Member since:
2005-07-06

I think this is the very definition of a storm in a teacup.

Reply Score: 2

If it hasn't been said yet...
by abraxas on Sun 6th Sep 2009 00:45 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

Let me be the first to say, "Who gives a f--k?"

Reply Score: 2

I join the chorus
by strcpy on Sun 6th Sep 2009 21:35 UTC
strcpy
Member since:
2009-05-20

IKEA.

Yes, WTF?

Could the new subtitle of OSNews be... "Thom's blog" or "random gossip somehow related to computers"?

Or something.

Reply Score: 1

FreeSans Medium
by irbis on Tue 8th Sep 2009 01:42 UTC
irbis
Member since:
2005-07-08

As to preferred GUI fonts, on my Linux desktop I prefer FreeSans Medium which I personally like better than Verdana or Arial type of fonts for GUI texts. The main reason is usability, in other words the font is relatively easy to read even when using a big resolution on a small monitor, but (unlike Verdana, for example) the font neither wastes too much space in making the letters and spacing between them unnecessarily wide.

As the console font I prefer DejaVu Sans.

Reply Score: 2

Seriously, who cares...
by tomcat on Tue 8th Sep 2009 03:03 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

If a bunch of swooshy designers want to get their panties in a bunch over a stupid font, they're just demonstrating their own irrelevance to mankind. There are far more important issues to fret over.

Reply Score: 2